BHP plan controversial West Papua nickel mine


Marius Kloppers
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Broadcast: 29/09/2008

Reporter: Geoff Thompson and Tony Jones

BHP Billiton is on the verge of starting one of the most sensitive mining operations it has ever planned.


TONY JONES: In West Papua, and after evading questions about the project for years, BHP Billiton is on the verge of starting one of the most sensitive mining operations it has ever planned. Gag Island in West Papua holds one of the world's richest nickel deposits. But it, and the islands around it, are ringed by what UNESCO and many marine scientists believe is the richest and most diverse coral reef system in the world.

Conservationists say BHP's disastrous environmental record at Papua New Guinea’s Ol Tedi mine should rule out any gamble with Gag Island's riches. And it's not just the potential for environmental damage that makes the gag project controversial. The island lies in West Papua, formerly Irian Jaya. The disputed Indonesian province where previous mining concessions like Freeport have become the focus for pro-independence guerrilla attacks and Indonesian human rights abuses.

Indonesia correspondent Geoff Thompson made the difficult journey to Gag Island to file this exclusive report for Lateline.

GEOFF THOMPSON: Off the remote coast of West Papua in eastern Indonesia sprawls the Raja Ampat archipelago. 610 islands spread across 50,000 square kilometres, covering an area 10 times the size of Bali. But its surface beauty simply cannot compete with the untold treasures below.

CHARLIE VERON, MARINE BIOLOGIST: There was once a time when all scientists in fact it was general knowledge, thought that the Great Barrier Reef was the centre of marine diversity. It was a very special place, but it is not the centre of marine diversity. The Raja Ampat islands of eastern Indonesia are.

JAN STEFFEN, UNESCO, JAKARTA OFFICE: If you look at it from the point of view of marine biodiversity it is what people call the bullseye on the planet. There's no richer person in terms of marine biodiversity.

GEOFF THOMPSON: The Raja Ampat archipelago sits atop the planetary short list of marine sites most deserving of World Heritage listing.

JAN STEFFEN: I think now it is basically a technical matter to get everything sorted out and to fulfil all the requirements but personally, I am quite optimistic that will happen.

GEOFF THOMPSON: But marine life isn't the only resource rich in abundance here. The other is nickel. In fact, one of the world's biggest deposits of that crucial stainless steel ingredient is locked inside Gag Island. A 56-square-kilometre land mass smack in the middle of the Raja Ampat archipelago.

And it's here that BHP Billiton has set up base, and is preparing to mine, after signing a 50-50 joint venture agreement in June with the Indonesian-owned company. For years BHP Billiton has been sitting on the controversial concession. Environmental protests saw the island reclassified as protected forest in 1999. Temporarily shelving BHP's mining plans. A regulatory shift in 2004 again cleared the way for Gag's exploitation. BHP's board has not yet approved the deal, but the company is already the best employer in Gag's only village, Gambia.

WAJU HUSEIN, COMMUNITY LEADER (translated): With the company here, even though they're still exploring, there's a huge difference in income already. When the producing starts, the company promises there'll be some sort of share of the production they get out of Gag Island, like in Freeport and such. There'll be money for the village, as well. They promised us that.

GEOFF THOMPSON: Nearly all of Gambia's point are migrants from nearby ma Luku and welcome the economic benefits they think the mine will bring. But Johanes Goram is an activist and among the Papuans disputing traditional ownership of Gag Island. He used to walk for Freeport's giant gold and copper mine, which for decades has been the flashpoint of conflict between pro-independence guerrillas and Indonesia's military.

Johanes Goram thinks stirring up of jealosies will haunt Gag Island, too.

JOHANES GORAM, NAZARETH FOUNDATION PAPUA: I do believe it is a human rights issue, because when the migrant and the local Papuan will fight or will conflict because of the issue, we are afraid that military intervention can be used to stop, to protect the company, to protect the land, to support the government.

GEOFF THOMPSON: It's extremely unlikely that BHP's nickel mine here will somehow sidestep the minefield of Papuan politics. Loud voices on the Papuan Traditional Council are already saying they are happy for the operation to proceed, but only in a Papua independent of Indonesia. But BHP can count on Indonesian Government support says the head of the country's investment board.

MUHAMMAD LUTFI, INVESTMENT BOARD CHIEF: We want to do it responsibly, but my board at least will make sure that it will happen in the near future.

GEOFF THOMPSON: BHP has refused to discuss which options are being considered to minimise the mine's impact on the surrounding reefs. The company first considered pumping hundred of thousands of tonnes of tailings onto the ocean floor, but BHP now says that option has been ruled out.

Indigenous Rights – The Galdino Mural


On Sunday 14 September in Waitangi Skate Park Wellington’s top graffiti crew Triple S (TS) painted a mural supporting indigenous rights. In the month when the 'October 15th' deposition hearing is taking place involving members of Tuhoe and other New Zealand activists who supported Maori indigenous struggle for self determination, this mural could not have come at a better time.


Indigenous Rights – No One’s Child Should Die –
The Galdino Mural

On Sunday 14 September in Waitangi Skate Park Wellington’s top graffiti crew Triple S (TS) painted a mural supporting indigenous rights. In the month when the 'October 15th' deposition hearing is taking place involving members of Tuhoe and other New Zealand activists who supported Maori indigenous struggle for self determination, this mural could not have come at a better time.

Triple S Crew were approached to paint this mural by Dean Hapeta (Te Kupu – www. tekupu. com) on behalf of a USA-based activist music group, IR (onewatchman.wordpress.com), that uses music to support indigenous rights. This had been a worldwide call-out to help remember the horrific death of the Pataxo Indian Galdino Jesus dos Santos, an indigenous man who while he lay on the streets sleeping, was murdered by a group of rich children, who as a “joke” to poured gasoline on him and set fire to him. Their treatment in the justice system was privileged and they only received mild sentences, as the life of this indigenous man was not seen as that significant. It has been ten years since his death but Galdino’s murder will not be forgotten. Due to political pressure, none of the traditional murals that are painted in Brazil to represent such a loss in a community were allowed. This is why Triple S Crew decided that they would step up and honour this life.

Triple S felt that up until recently Maori and Pacific people had a much stronger voice and were in a position to help other indigenous people who have been silenced by oppressive regimes.

Triple S have been involved in community work pretty much since their inception. From the early days, when member and much smaller Kerb1 protested the Springbok tour, and many members walking to support the 2004 hikoi organised during Foreshore and seabed controversy in opposition to the nationalisation of New Zealand's foreshore and seabed along the coastline , to now with the youth work they do. Triple S work with mainly at-risk youth both informally and through a project called The Next (www.thenext.org.nz) in their own unique and highly effective way using the four elements of hip-hop culture, B boying, MCing, Graffiti/Writing and DJing. Doing this mural was a natural step in what they have always done and so of course they jumped at the chance of painting this mural on a sunny spring afternoon in Wellington.

They chose the skate park to paint the mural, as children would see it and would be made aware of the injustices that happen to indigenous people around the world. During the painting, young people were very curious about why they were painting images and not graffiti “letters” that they are used to seeing Triple S paint at the skate park. Spex One (the only female in the crew) patiently explained to young people who came up to her, that this was to represent the tragic murder of Galdino, who had been killed by Brazilian rich children. The young people were outraged, saying that “it is so wrong” and “no one should be killed”. They were so shocked that any young people could do this.

This day was a great success, not only remembering Galdino and his family, who I am sure could never have perceived that he would be remembered halfway around the world in Aotearoa, but also in the way Triple S and the children interacted. Despite the difficulty of painting they were always patient and took time to talk to the children who came to talk to them. Juse One developed quite a following and agreed to “graff” a couple of the smaller children’s skateboards, much to their delight.

Painting community murals is not a new thing for Triple S. In Kerb’s home suburb of Newtown you can see numerous murals on a community centre and also murals they have painted in the main street with local children. And they realise that the struggle to help indigenous children starts in their own country too. Helping children express their anger using music, art and dance, helps empower them in a world that has rejected them. Murals such as the one they painted for Galdino show children how their art can become a way to the change world.

Click on image for a larger version



Te Kohu


Hiki ake te kohu e
Ko Hinepukohurangi
Tapapa ana ki nga koawa
Hei kakahu mo

Hora nei te moenga
Mo te tipua nei a te Maunga
Ki runga o Onini e
Ka hono ki a

Hurainga ko nga rarauwhe
Kia puta ko nga Potiki
Nga uri o te Maunga
Nga tamariki o te Kohu

A shroud of mist rises
It is Hinepukohurangi
Nestling in the gullies
A garment
For Mother Earth

A bed is laid
For the ancestor mountain
On top of Onini
There he embraces

Unravel the ferns
So that Nga Potiki may emerge
The descendants of the Mountain
The Children of the Mist


US Hands off Latin America - No more Pinochets

>>>>Emergency Rally in Solidarity<<<<

5.30pm Friday, September 26th
GPO, Corner Bourke and Elizabeth St, CBD Ph Sean 0415 122 135

Latin America now faces its most serious crisis since the rebirth of democratic and progressive movements at the end of the 20th century. On the 35th anniversary of the military overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, which had the overt support of the United States, the presidents of Bolivia and Venezuela asked the US ambassadors accredited to their countries to leave.

They both believe they are facing the possibility of an imminent coup in which they accuse the United States' administration of being involved. A third country, Paraguay, announced ten days previously that they had detected a plan involving military officers and opposition politicians.

The plot against democracy in Venezuela centered on a plan, revealed in telephone conversations between senior military officers broadcast on national television, to assassinate the democratically elected head of state, President Chavez.

In Bolivia, the separatist governors of the five eastern regions, in close touch with the US embassy in La Paz, have begun a campaign of violence and economic sabotage designed to create the conditions for a coup. Scores of indigenous and poor protesters have been killed by gang backed by rich sectors and the oligarchy.

These events demonstrate unequivocally who defends democracy and who threatens it in Latin America today. The international media has failed to provide accurate and proportionate coverage of these events.

Join the rally to defend people's power, self-determination, social progress and popular democracy in Latin America and to condemn the actions against indigenous and poor people organisations, human rights and democratically elected popular governments.


Centre for Latin America Studies and Solidarity Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET) Peace & Justice for Colombia, FMLN committee Revolutionary Socialist Party Socialist Alliance. Green Left Weekly Resistance

Building Solidarity with Latin America... Building Bridges…
Organising Globally… The Power of Grassroots Organising




Backing Up Globalisation with Military Might: Australia in the Pacific

“Clothed in benevolent, paternal words, greed and racism lie at the heart of the war on terrorism: pushing the West’s way of doing things onto the Pacific. Australia & New Zealand seek to gain access to markets in the Pacific and to rich natural resources through liberalised trade"

"In today's world, TNCs, and governments running interference for them, are pushing for an end to national sovereignty and democracy in order to achieve total unimpeded access for investments, cheap labor, and consumers in every nook and cranny of the globe. This is being accomplished, among other ways, through mechanisms like multilateral agreements on investment, free trade agreements like PACER-Plus , and the dictates of the European Union (EU) International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and World Trade Organization (WTO)."

"To achieve maximum profits, these transnationals will stop at nothing. After all, they are non-human institutions that must expand through ever-greater profits, or go out of business. In so doing they have shown willingness to violate human rights-particularly workers' rights-to throw millions out of work, destroy unions, use sweatshops and slave labor, destroy the environment, destabilize governments, and install and bolster tyrants who oppress, repress, torture and kill with impunity."

"Is it surprising, then, that wars and military intervention, including attacks on civilians, are waged on behalf of corporations? It has been an integral part of the history of imperialist powers. Why should we believe it is any different today?"


EZLN announce First Global Festival of Dignified Rage

mujeres zapatistas.jpg

Communiqué from the of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command, of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation
Sixth Commission—Intergalactic Commission of the EZLN


September 15 and 16 of 2008

To the adherents of the Sixth Declaration and the Other Campaign:

To the adherents of the Zezta Interazional:

To the People of Mexico:

To the Peoples of the World:

Compañeras and Compañeros:

Brother and Sisters:

Once again we send you our words.

This is what we see, what we are looking at.

This is what has come to our ears, to our brown heart.


Above they intend to repeat history.

They want to impose on us once again their calendar of death, their geography of destruction.

When they are not trying to strip us of our roots, they are destroying them.

They steal our work, our strength.

They leave our world, our land, our water, and our treasures without people, without life.

The cities pursue and expel us.

The countryside both kills us and dies on us.

Lies become governments and dispossession is the weapon of their armies and police.
We are the illegal, the undocumented, the undesired of the world.

We are pursued.

Women, young people, children, the elderly die in death and die in life.

And there above they preach to us resignation, defeat, surrender, and abandonment.

Here below we are being left with nothing.

Except rage.

And dignity.

There is no ear for our pain, that is not like what we are.

We are no one.

We are alone, alone with our dignity and our rage.

Rage and dignity are our bridges, our languages.

We must listen to each other then, learn to know each other.

So that our courage and rage grows and becomes hope.

So that our dignity takes root again and births another world.

We have seen and heard.

Our voice is small to be the echo of that word, our gaze small for so much dignified rage.

The process of seeing each other, looking at each other, speaking to each other, listening to each other, is still lacking.

We are others, the other.

If this world does not have a place for us, then another world must be made.

With no tool other than our rage, no material other than our dignity.

We still must encounter each other more, know each other better.

What is missing is yet to come…


Now, three years after the Sixth Declaration of the Lacondon Jungle, the EZLN has undertaken a collective reflection, nourished by the broad horizon that our compañeros of the Other Campaign in Mexico and in the Zezta Internazional across the world have given to us.

It is not little that we have seen and heard, sometimes directly, sometimes through the words and the gaze of others.

The rage that we felt and the dignity that we found was so great that we think now that we are smaller then we thought before.

In Mexico and on the five continents we have found what we intuited when we began our sixth step: there is another world, there is another path.

If the catastrophe that is coming can be avoided and humanity is to have another opportunity, it will because these others, below and to the left, not only resist, but are already drawing the profile of something else.

Something different than what is occurring above.

In the impossible geometry of political power, the fundamentalists are distributed evenly: the right becomes ultra-right and the institutional left becomes the impossible cultured right. Those who make up the progressive media complain that the fanatics of the mainstream press censure them, twist their words and slander their cause, but they at the same time censure, twist the words, slander, and silence any movement that hasn’t bowed down to the dictates of their ringleaders. And without shame they condemn and acquit to the rhythm of a senseless media rating. Fanatics on all sides fight over lies dressed as truths and crimes are measured by the media time that they occupy. But this is nothing other than a pale reflection of what is happening in politics.

Weariness of the cynicism and incompetence of the traditional political classes has been converted into rage. Sometimes this rage is oriented toward hoping for change in the same paths and places as always, and it is there immobilized by disillusionment or trampled by an arbitrary force. The unsettled and brutal north goes back to its old ways. When it is not sponsoring electoral fraud (like in Mexico), it is promoting, encouraging, and financing state coups (as attempted now in Bolivia and Venezuela). War continues to be its primary and favored form of international diplomacy. Iraq and Afghanistan burn, but, to the despair of those above, are not consumed.

The impositions of hegemony and homogeneity on a global scale find in nations, in regions, and in small locales, their witches’ apprentices that try for that impossible historic return to a past where fanaticism was law and dogma, science. Meanwhile, the governing political classes have found in the world of bright lights an adequate disguise to hide their full participation in organized crime.

Sickened by so much greed, the planet begins to pay the unpayable bill of its destruction. But “natural” disasters are also class issues and their devastation is felt most by those who have nothing and are no one. Faced with this, the stupidity of Power has no limits: millions and millions of dollars are dedicated to manufacturing new weapons and installing more military bases. The Power of capital does not worry about training teachers, doctors, engineers, but rather soldiers. It doesn’t prepare constructors, but rather destructors.

And those who opposed this are the pursued, incarcerated, murdered.

In Mexico, farmers who have defended their land are in prison (San Salvador Atenco); in Italy those who opposed the installation of military bases are pursued and treated as terrorists; in the France of “liberty, equality, and fraternity,” humans are only free, equal, and brothers if their papers say so; in Greece being young is a vice that must be eradicated; again in Mexico, but now in that city of the same name, young people are criminalized and murdered and nothing is done because it is not on the agenda that those above dictate. Meanwhile, a legitimate referendum is converted into a shameful way for and assassin-governor to wash his hands of a situation. In the Spain of the modern European Union, publications are closed and a language, Euskera, is criminalized—they think that by killing the word they can kill those who speak it; in that Asia that is so close, the peasant demands are answered with armored injustices; in that arrogant American Union, born in the blood of migrants, the “other colors” that work there are pursued and killed; in the long wound that is Latin America, the brown blood that sustains it is despised and humiliated; in the rebellious Caribbean, a people, the Cuban people, are forced to live under an imperial embargo that is nothing other than a punishment without crime.

And in all of the corners of the world’s geography, and in all of the days of its calendars, those that work, those that make things run, are plundered, despised, exploited, and repressed.

But sometimes, many times, as many times as a smile sets it off again, rage looks for its own paths, new paths, other paths. And the “no” that these multiple rages raise now not only resists, but begins to propose, to become.

Since our appearance in public, now almost 15 years ago, it has been our goal to be a bridge on which the many rebellions in the world can walk back and forth.

Sometimes we have achieved this, sometimes we haven’t.

Now we see and we feel not only the rebellious resistance that, as sister and comrade, stays at our side and encourages our steps.

Now there is something that before wasn’t there, or that we weren’t able to see before.

There is a creative rage.

A rage that paints all of the colors of the paths of below and to the left on the five continents….







THE OTHER MEXICO CITY, FEDERAL DISTRICT, December 26, 27, 28, and 29, 2008. IN LIENZO CHARRO OF THE ASSOCIATION LOS CHARROS REYES DE IZTAPALAPA, Frente Popular Francisco Villa Independiente-UNOPII, Avenue Guelatao # 50, Colonia Álvaro Obregón, Delegación Iztapalapa, close to the metro station Guelatao, where an exposition will be presented. AND IN THE HEADQUARTERS OF UNÍOS, Dr. Carmona y Valle street #32, colonia Doctores, close to the metro station Cuauhtemoc, where other activities will be held.

THE CITY OF SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, CHIAPAS, on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of January 2009 in CIDECI, located on the Camino Real de San Juan Chamula s/n, Colonia Nueva Maravilla.




1. In Mexico City, a national and international exposition will be installed where every struggle, every experience, every rage, will have a space where it can set up and show its struggle and its courage. This way we can all see, hear, and know each other.

2. In zapatista territory, dignity and rage will become art and culture, music and song, because rebellion also dances. And with words, pain will become hope.

3. In San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, the word will go back and forth in order to give birth to new words and give strength and reason to rage.

4. The national and international groups, collectives, and organizations that participate in the festival will be only those who are invited to do so. To this end, the Sixth Commission of the EZLN has initiated consultations with political and social organizations, as well as with groups and collectives of anarchists, libertarians, alternative communication workers, human rights defenders, sexworkers, intellectuals, social activists, ex political prisoners, all adherents of the Sixth Declaration; and with groups, collectives, and organizations of other countries, all part of the Zezta Internazional. The criteria for invitations and participations will be made after these consultations.

5. For the roundtables, the EZLN will invite social organizers, thinkers, and leaders of anticapitalist projects from Mexico and around the world. The list of invitees will be released later.

6. More details about what we are thinking the festival of dignified rage could be will be made known at earliest convenience (that is, when we have an approximate idea of the problem we have gotten ourselves into).

That’s all for now.


From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command, of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, September of 2008.

translated by el Kilombo Intergaláctico


For more information see:

AND/OR come along to the film screening (of Atenco: Break the Siege) and discussion this Wednesday night from 6.30pm at Happy, corner Tory and Vivian Sts, Wellington. entry by koha/donation all proceeds to the political prisoners of Atenco and their families.

For more info about the film screening, the Wellington Zapatista Support Group, and the Zapatistas in general, please visit:


Pacific Ocean mineral rush heats up

A race for almost legendary deposits of gold and copper in waters around New Zealand and nearby Pacific states has heated up with a big find off Tonga.

Nautilus Minerals told the Toronto Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (Aim) that it had discovered four new high-grade seafloor massive sulphide (SMS) systems in Tonga.

High grades of gold, copper, zinc and silver were present in the finds.

Nautilus has pioneered undersea mining in Papua New Guinea and has exploration rights in New Zealand's exclusive economic zone running up to Tonga and Fiji.

This year, rival Neptune Minerals said it had applied to begin a $622 million gold and copper deep-sea mining operation 300km north of East Cape.

On preliminary data publicly available, the new Tonga find is richer than the New Zealand mining.

The newly discovered SMS systems are 90km apart, near Niuatoputapu, in northern Tonga. They are in waters 900 metres deep in contrast to the New Zealand finds which are 1200 metres to 1300 metres deep.

Nautilus chief executive Stephen Rogers said the find in Tonga was outstanding. It was the first time that commercial exploration had taken place in Tongan waters, he said.



Kiribati, Cuba, sign health agreement

Kiribati President Anote Tong has signed a deal with the Cuban administration to boost medical cooperation, including student training. [ABC]

Kiribati President Anote Tong has signed a deal with the Cuban administration to boost medical cooperation, including student training.

Cuba and the pacific island state of Kiribati have signed an agreement to increase cooperation in the health sector.

Cuba's national news agency reports Cuba's medical team in Kiribati will be increased from 15 health professionals to up to 32.

Cuba and Kiribati established diplomatic relations in 2002 and there has been a medical team from Cuba on the island since 2006.

Currently 20 students from Kiribati are being trained as doctors in Cuba.

Cuba is also hosting two medical students from Nauru, 25 from Solomon Islands and 17 from Vanuatu.

The deal came during the first Cuba-Pacific Islands ministerial meeting in Havana this week.

Cuba and Kiribati Increase Cooperation

Cuba and Kiribati Increase Cooperation in Health Sector

The document was signed in Havana by Cuban Health Minister Jose Ramon Balaguer and by his Kiribati counterpart, Riteti Maninraka, in a ceremony that was presided over by Anote Tong, President of this small island-state of the Pacific.

The Cuban official said that the agreement reaffirms the close bilateral ties of friendship and the commitment of both governments to continue strengthening cooperation.

“We are sister nations, two small islands facing big challenges,” Balaguer stressed.

As a result of this new agreement, the Cuban medical brigade in Kiribati, which arrived there in 2006, will increase its number from 15 to 25 health professionals and even to 32 if circumstances allow it.

Cuba and Kiribati established diplomatic relations in September 2002 and their ties have strengthened ever since.

Since 2006, as part of a new program to train health professionals in Cuba, a school for youths from small island-states of the Pacific is operating. There are currently 20 students from Kiribati being trained as doctors there, as well as two from Nauru, 25 from Salomon Islands and 17 from Vanuatu.

The President of Kiribati was in Cuba participating in the First Cuba-Pacific Islands Ministerial Meeting that concluded in Havana and which served to strengthen cooperation ties between Cuba and 10 small island-states from the Pacific region.


West Papua: Lawyer arrested by Anti-terrorist squad for sending a txt

Indonesian Military.jpg
On October 18th 2007 West Papuan human rights lawyer, Iwanggin Sabar Olif was arrested by members of Detachment 88, Indonesia's anti-terrorist squad. He was accused of forwarding a text message condemming the Indonesian military's treatment of West Papuan people. Ever since then he has been held in detention. A recent joint statement by several Papuan human rights organisations, calling for Sabar Olif's release, states that the anti-terrorist police have acted on the princple 'arrest him first, then get him to confess by whatever means necessary'. [Coalition of organisations demand the release of Sabar Olif Iwanggin]

Links: Indonesian Human Rights Committee Statement | January 2008 Court Hearings | The spectre of terrorism in Aotearoa - drawing the parallels

To Serve Who? To Protect What?

The colonial world is a world cut in two. The dividing line, the frontiers are shown by barracks and police stations. In the colonies it is the policeman and the soldier who are the official, instituted go-betweens, the spokesmen of the settler and his rule of oppression.... (Fanon)


Todos con Bolivia Everyone with Bolivia

After nearly 516 Years of European Invasion & Genocide in the Americas 12 October 1492 - 2008

International Day of Solidarity with Bolivia Melbourne Australia, October 10 - 2008

Solidarity Night for Bolivian people self-determination and sovereignty

Friday October 10, 6:30pm
New Council Chambers
Victorian Trades Hall Council
Corner of Lygon & Victoria streets, Carlton

Everyone with Bolivia

The process of changes in favour of the Bolivian majority is at risk of being brutally restricted. The rise to government of an Indigenous president with unprecedented support in that country and his programs of popular benefits, the recovery of the natural resources and with the support of the majority of the indigenous and grassroots organisations have had to face the conspiracies of the Bolivian richest sectors, the oligarchy and United States interference from the first day in office.

In recent days the increase in conspiracy, violence and humiliation against indigenous organizations has reached its climax. The subversive, criminal, racist and unconstitutional actions of the oligarchic groups supported by USA during last week and days to try to create insecurity, instability and the conditions for a military coup and the intervention of USA upon the Bolivian nation reflect the racist and elitist minds of these sectors and constitute a very dangerous precedent not only for the country's integrity, but for other countries in Latin America.

History shows with ample eloquence, the terrible consequences that the divisionary and separatist processes supported and induced by foreign interests have had for humanity, just remember the military intervention backed by CIA against Salvador Allende in 1973.

Faced with this situation the Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET), Friends of the Earth, The Alliance for Indigenous Self Determination and Latin American supporters from a range of Australian and community organisations are calling for an special Public Forum & Documentary Film night on Friday October 10, 6:30pm, at the New Council Chambers, Victorian Trades Hall (corner of Lygon and Victoria streets, Carlton) to express our solidarity and concerns in this difficult situation, at the same time we would like to sign, endorse and support a statement made by Bolivian indigenous and grassroots organisations which will be send to as previous the special Public Forum. The public forum will be addressed by Antonio-Nava Bolivian general consul from Sydney and solidairty activists will proposed different ways of action to support the Bolivian process, all welcome

The supporters of Bolivian people would like to express our support for the democratic and popular government of Evo Morales Ayma , for his policies for change and for the sovereign constituent process of the Bolivian people and the social movements supporting this process. At the same time we reject the antidemocratic attempt of instability leaded by the Bush administration, the Bolivian riches sectors, the reactionary and violent oligarchy in its crimes committed against poor and indigenous people in the lasts days.

All our support to the Bolivian people
Everyone with Bolivia

The International Indigenous Solidarity Gathering - Latin America, Asia & the Pacific support the international day of action with the Bolivian People. www.latinlasnet.org/gathering/freedom.html

Latin American Solidairty Network(LASNET)
Friends of the Earth (FOE)
The Alliance for Indigenous Self Determination

add you name here

More Info: 0400 914 944

Building Solidarity with Latin America... Building Bridges…
Organising Globally… The Power of Grassroots Organisations

check for more info from indigenous and grassroots organisations from Bolivia at:

Katchafire Frisk Me Down

Police spies caught in the act


Last night (Tuesday 16th), as an October 15 Solidarity meeting was winding up at Oblong/Freedom shop, attendants were alerted to the presence of half a dozen suspected plain-clothes police positioned outside in Left Bank pedestrian mall.

At ~8:50pm last night (Tuesday 16th), as an October 15 Solidarity meeting was winding up at Oblong/Freedom shop, attendants were alerted to the presence of half a dozen suspected plain-clothes police positioned outside in Left Bank pedestrian mall. One was noticed pacing back and forth past the front door, looking in on the meeting. As other activists showed up in response to the alert some meeting attendees came outside to join in confronting the suspected police. The plain-clothes got up and started toward Cuba St together. They were asked to disclose their badge numbers, but nobody amongst the group was saying anything.

A group of us followed them. Initially they attempted to shield one man in particular (the man pictured in the white jacket) and identified to him a person in our group who had been in the meeting. As they made their way to Dixon St and then along to Taranaki St several more people joined their group from various positions. They moved down Taranaki St to Wakefeild St, and several more people joined them.

Some eventually started telling us that we had it all wrong, we making fools of ourselves, and that they were actually a group doing a teambuilding exercise, although they would not disclose any company or group name.

Some of us were using cell phones to take pictures and getting around in front of them asking them more questions about what they were doing and who they worked for. They were pushing us around. One of the women with them told one of us “we're not dangerous”.

Some of them were using cell phones sending text messages. Two of them were hanging back from their group in some kind of attempt to mingle with our group in a pseudo friendly manner (the man with the big moustache in particular), and trying to extract personal information from us.

Still following, we headed across the New World car park where one of us dashed inside to purchase a disposable camera. They then went to Chaffers Park where another group also in plain-clothes emerged to meet with them. They regrouped. Altogether there were approximately twenty five of them. They tried to tell us it was all a joke and how silly we were for being fooled.

It was made absolutely and extremely clear to these people that whoever they were, what they were doing was totally unacceptable and unwelcome.

The group left the park and we followed. We photographed them as they stood around and then moving. Some were still pretending it was a joke and denying being police while two of the men started to act more aggressively, pushing people in our group and trying to chase and intimidate individuals, one of them approaching one of the women in our group saying “I'll nut you”. When asked if this was a threat he replied “yes”. Others went on to make ill informed and juvenile jokes aimed at our group.

They went to the waterfront where the group split up. One group was followed around and around and around the boat shed. Another group was followed over the foot-bridge. We continued to follow both groups. One group split again, we followed them too.

One group proceeded back toward Left Bank, where they entered a couple of cars at the Willis Street end of the mall, one of which was a blue station wagon.

Another group stopped by the playground for a 'team talk', at which point we departed.

At approximately 10pm, two plains-clothes police cars, a blue stationwagon, a black SUV, a white car, a few other cars, and a well equipped police surveillance vehicle turned up in quick succession to the Wellington central police station, entering the internal police parking lot. Many of the people from the group/s we had followed were positively identified as passengers in and in some cases driving the vehicles. Other plain-clothes police also were present on the street near the station. Shortly after, the surveillance vehicle re-emerged from the car park, then quite a few marked vehicles were seen to enter the garage one after the other.

We found out that a person working in 'Offbeat' cafe knew of this 'exercise', however the staff member advised that they could not disclose anything to us 'for legal reasons'. When asked whether they were cops, the staff member replied in a vague manner, “did they look like cops to you”.

Some of the vehicle details are as follows:
Mid Blue stationwagon, Number plate COZ127

Could those who have other details please post them.
Click on image for a larger version

More shots from last night.


Palmy Panthers

West Papuan guerrilla commander orders closure of Freeport mine

Orders issued by General Kelly Kwalik of the West Papuan Liberation Army (TPN) are confirmed to be the reason for a series of explosions and shots being fired around the Freeport mine in West Papua in the past week.

This information is based on communication with Kelly Kwalik's men in Timika and documentation supplied by Kelly Kwalik. Kelly Kwalik states the purpose of the guerrilla campaign is to 'Close Down Mining' and to bring international attention to the situation at Freeport and West Papua.

Kelly Kwalik has reported he is taking these actions both as a traditional landowner of the Freeport mine area and as an Operational Commander of the West Papua Liberation Army.

Kwalik has stated the reasons for his action as the ongoing tribal conflicts caused by the mine, the ongoing abuses of the human rights of the indigenous peoples, the destruction and pollution of the environment associated with the mines operation and that the presence of this company has invited many kinds of problems especially among the people who are living in the surrounding of mining area.

Kwalik seeks also to address the problems in West Papua of lack of political rights for West Papuan indigenous people and to express their desire for political independence. Kwalik says, "The Closing of this mining will be done until there is an West Papua nation which has its own independence separated from NKRI (the unitary state of Indonesian Republic)".

Kwalik say he supports for international sponsored dialogue as the mechanism through which a negotiated settlement which can give benefits to the West Papua people and the landowners at Freeport.

Paula Makabory representing the Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights said. "We are able to confirm that Kelly Kwalik orders are the reason why there has been gunshots and explosions around the Freeport mining concession."

'The reports indicate that the guerrillas are targeting mine facilities and infrastructure rather than civilians or security forces in this action. Kelly Kwalik has clearly ordered that the mine will be the target of guerrilla campaign until West Papua sovereignty issues are resolved."

Matthew Jamieson also from Institute for Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights said, "The commencement of this campaign has major implications for the security of West Papuans in the Freeport area, especially the traditional owners, because of the likelihood of reprisals by the Indonesian security forces. In the past there has been significant human rights abuse associated with the mine security and we expect that there will be a significant increase military activity because of these recent actions."

Matthew Jamieson went on to say, "Kelly Kwalik first attacked the mine in 1972, significantly disrupting mining operations. This lead to a sustained Indonesian military campaign and widespread reprisals, including bombing and strafing villages, both in the immediate area of the mine and elsewhere in the highlands where people had nothing to do with the mine. Many thousands of local people were reportedly killed at this time."

"Since then Kwalik group has been in the jungle operating outside Indonesian control. Kwalik's principal political actions have been maintaining a guerrilla force, evading capture by Indonesian security forces and undertaking flag raising events in areas mostly outside Indonesian military control."

"In 1995 the Indonesian military together with Freeport security were accused of the killings of a large number of traditional landowners including Kwalik's immediate relatives."

For Further information contact:

Paula Makabory +61 (0) 402547517

Matthew Jamieson +61 (0) 418291998


A Samoan educator believes non-Maori should support the role of Maori as tangata whenua or people of the land.

Mua Strickson Pua runs the Tagata Pacifica Resource and Development Trust, which helps young Pacific Island and Maori who have been expelled from schools.

As well as Pacific Island culture, the students learn about Maori history and culture and the effects of urbanisation on indigenous peoples.

Reverend Strickson Pua says that makes the Maori students sit up and take notice.

“They're hearing non-Maori saying quite clearly and powerfully that it’s awesome to be tangata whenua, that this is an awesome history, and that these are Pacific Islanders who have acknowledged that they have received great blessings by coming to this country,” Rev Strickson Pua says.

He says young Maori feel affirmed when non-Maori celebrate their culture.


International Indigenous Solidarity Gathering

The Latin American and Australasian International Indigenous Solidarity Gathering

Melbourne-Australia, October 24 - 25 - 26

As you are aware for October 24-26, 2008, The Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET), Friends of the Earth - Australia (FOE) and other solidarity groups are holding The Latin American and Australasia International Indigenous Solidarity Gathering (Encuentro), which will bring along indigenous nand non indigenous grassroots popular organisations who are struggling, resisting and supporting Indigenous/First Nations/ Aboriginal rights from Australia, Aotearoa(NZ), Asia Pacific, Pacific Islands, Turtle Island (North America) & Latin America.

This Gathering is taking place on Wurundjery land. We give our respects to the Wurungjery elders past and present, and acknowledge the sovereignty of all Aboriginal Nations on this continent.

The Gathering (Encuentro) has the main goal to build bridges of struggles, friendship and collaboration between indigenous and grassroots organisations throughout this regions of the world, specially today where multinational corporations are increasing their invasion to aboriginal lands and the military repression is intensifying world over.

During the days of the Gathering (Encuentro), main meetings, workshops, documentary festival, get together activities, different people from Australia and overseas will explore the questions of Genocide over our aboriginal nations by the dominant states, Autonomous struggles, The ancestral rights of land and own culture, sovereignty and the global order, sovereignty and neo-liberal policies, land sovereignty and nation, aboriginal control of aboriginal affairs, meaning of human rights and aboriginal rights, fighting racism and other topics that people assisting to the gathering will present.

Our idea is to be open and inclusive to ideas, discourses supporting the aboriginal people self-determination, sovereign of their future and popular grassroots struggles for justice, peace, dignity and democracy from below.

Friday 24 October Victoria Trades Hall Council - Carlton:
Gathering Opening (Public Meeting), 6pm,

Saturday 25 October - CERES East Brunswick:
Plenary/main sessions (Gatherings), workshops, entertainment,
art exhibitions, traditional food, stalls,
Afternoon Films documentaries
Party at Night

Sunday 26 October - CERES East Brunswick:
Plenary/ main sessions (Gatherings), workshops, entertainment (music, movies, theatre), traditional food, stalls, art exhibition
5/6pm - Main Gathering and resolutions

Further Information contact lasnet@latinlasnet.org
or call 0400 914 944


Immortal Technique- Caught In a Hustle (con subtitulos)

Music video to Immortal Technique's "Caught in a Hustle".

Video made by freestyle Artist, Joe Santos. http://youtube.com/battlearts

Native Americans neglected after Gustav

More than a week after Hurricane Gustav spared the city of New Orleans, some gulf coast communities are still dealing with the storm's destruction.

One Native American community has received no government assistance despite being devastated by Gustav.

Aljazeera's Mike Kirsch reports.

Why doesn't this surprise me? The oil company wants the land, so they want the Indians to leave, therefore the government will take its good old time to help them. How sad.
They have screwed the Native Americans since they stepped foot on this continent and they are still screwing them.

This would be a good cause if anyone can help these people in any way possible. It's tough times for everyone, but even tougher for them.

Anyone know how to contact these folks?

Aotearoa Maranga

Dedicated with love to all those who fight oppression everywhere

Rise Up

By Native Savage

We’ve been fighting for 160 years
And that a lot of blood lost and many tears shed
For our whaea
When she’s gone, whose got chu?

Born with a responsibility
coz we are kaitiaki
Of our whenua
Thru nga kapua
Maintaining that harmony

White man came with no obligation
Just a long history of devastation
Native under thumb
Controlled by their guns
On mass slaughter
Blood in the water
But we didn’t die
Yes we fought to survive
Now its our turn to rise on up


Rise Up! Rise Up! Rise Up!
Rise Up! Rise Up! Rise Up!
New generation
And Restoration
Our peoples and this land
Yes we are making a stand

War was fought with men guns and pens
New nuclear bomb called legislation
Only form of infiltration
Was penetration or destruction of this system
And no we won’t compromise
Coz they conquer wise
And let the good ones stay in
To continue this devastation
Of that which is colonization

So baton downs your doors
Because we have decided its time we settle the scores
We are sick of being your slaves
And we are sick of being your whores

We are a new generation
Concerned primarily with preservation
and restoration of our peoples and this land
Will you give us a hand?
Or continue to demand that we stay on our chains
And just obey
Whatever it is that you say!
Coz Mr. It will be a long day
And many who will pay
If that’s the way you want to play
Coz we are ready to fight
Yes we are ready to die
Coz for far too long we’ve just had to survive
But this native believes in a maori nation that will thrive
And lead indigenous peoples world wide sky high
But natives gotta rise


Rise Up! Rise Up! Rise Up!
Rise Up! Rise Up! Rise Up!
New generation
And Restoration
Our peoples and this land
Yes we are making a stand

Native Savage is a sometimes bedroom MC and a full time Maori rights activist.

In the Aftermath of the Urewera Raids: Discussing colonisation, courts and contempt

Public Meeting:

6:30pm, Monday 22nd September 2008

St Johns in the City, cnr Willis and Dixon Sts, Wellington

Moana Jackson (Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Porou)
Speaking about the context of the raids of October 15th last year

Steven Price (media lawyer, author of www.medialawjournal.co.nz)
Speaking about media law and contempt of court

Followed by question and answer session, then talk over tea, coffee and biscuits.

With the depositions hearing for eighteen of those arrested in the raids last year currently taking place in Auckland, and with Fairfax (the publisher of the Dominion Post) facing trial for contempt of court in Wellington 15th - 19th September, it is a timely opportunity to look at the broader political context. We hope you can join us at the meeting.

For more information, please email info@October15thSolidarity.info

All welcome



"I weep for what has just happened at Maungapohatu in Tuhoe. The Police raid seems to be about punishing Kenana for questioning the Crown and will only take us back in the mists of fear and doubt… I wonder if we will ever stop worrying when it might happen again". - Karaitiana Rarere, Ngati Kahungunu, 1916